Early York goals claim three points from Durham

BUCS Northern Conference 2B

Two goals in the first five minutes were enough to give the hockey firsts a well-earned three points in their win over Durham thirds on the JLD.

In the first move of the game, a clever dragged flick from Laurie Torrington gave York the perfect start. However, hockey perfection was taken to another level just a few minutes later when York doubled their lead.

A clever reverse pass put Phil Ratliff through one-on-one against the Durham keeper, who he beat with an accurate lob. Substitute Jimmy Johnson, who was stood in awe by the dug-out, summed the wondergoal up in three words – “poetry in motion”.

Durham made an effort to respond and earned a dubious free hit 23 yards from goal. They worked the ball backwards before attempting a shot from distance, which striker Silverton deflected into goal away from the sprawling York keeper Callum Chaundy. The covering centre-back was unlucky not to clear it off the line.

The visiting side continued to press for an equaliser, but the next chance fell to Hugo Christie, whose blistering shot had to be scrambled off the line by a rattled Durham defence.

Unfortunately, Durham earned their hard-fought equaliser only a minute later, again through Silverton. His shot was set up from a penalty corner; keeper Chaundy did well to get a foot to it but it was not enough to stop the ball from passing through his legs and crossing the line. Captain George Richards was unlucky in his attempted clearance.

The excitement of the first half still continued just two minutes later when Dougie McAteer put Leo Watton through on goal, but his lightning shot fizzed off the near post. Spectators were beginning to wonder when the intensity of the game would die down.

Durham had been building momentum all through the first half after a slow start and York did well to control this at the start of the second by holding possession well. Durham, again, slowly came back into the game, winning several penalty corners and coming increasingly close to a third goal.

But 15 minutes into the half, York pulled another fine goal out of the bag, as Jammy Wilson fired in a low shot to regain the lead for the home team.

Watton finished the game on a slightly foul note when he received a yellow card for barging over a Durham player – a decision that he questioned considerably. York were going to be down to ten men for the final five minutes of the game and Durham tried to capitalise on this.

A tense finale ensued as Durham received penalty corner after penalty corner, each of which were desperately scrambled off the line before the umpires called an end to a highly entertaining game.

York captain Richards had this to say about the match: “We are still a relatively fledgling unit and Durham were a well-drilled outfit. We had prominent patterns of play and I’m looking forward to the next fixture. We’ve got things to work on but this is our first BUCS game. I’m very pleased with the result.”

Man of the match: Phil Ratliff

York squad: Chaundy, Christie, Richards (C), Malfoy, Torrington, Butler, McAteer, Siva, Wilson, Watton, Blackburn, Ratliff, Johnson, Armston-Clarke

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